Youth play the traditional game of Jokkor ©

Boroji International

January 2020

The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme is working to support youth peacebuilding initiatives across its three focal states. To promote peace and social cohesion between youths in IDP camps and host communities, the programme supported the organisation of ‘Jokkor’ - an old Kanuri tradition that marked the end of hostilities and the restoration of peace after violent conflict. 

The sport for peace events were held on December 12-16 in Jere, Konduga, Mafa, and Maiduguri LGAs. The traditional game is used to demonstrate fitness and strength. The main players are given a turban that is then taken from one pole to another by hopping on one leg, while avoiding tackles by other players. The player who succeeds in getting the turban to the opposite pole without falling is declared the winner. In the past, the game was also used to select the worthy prince that would marry a princess. 

Community members came out peacefully and in large numbers to cheer on the various teams. Dignitaries at the event expressed that the game symbolised the end of the insurgency in Nigeria and the community coming together. They used the opportunity to encourage youths to abstain from violence and drug abuse. 

‘We are happy with the support given to our youths. Jokkor is a game that we traditionally use to promote cohesion within society.’ M. Abadam, General Manager, Borno Radio and Television

‘The game has brought us all together. We are proud of the culture. This shows that even with the war, our culture is still intact.’ Abba Maisandari, District Head, Maisandari War, Borno Emirate